Community activists in Chicago are demanding federal prosecutors bring charges against former cop Jason Van Dyke, who’s slated to be released from prison in February.
Van Dyke is set to be released from prison Feb. 3 after serving almost four years of a seven year sentence after his 2018 conviction on second-degree murder charges and 16 counts of aggravated battery, one for each bullet Van Dyke fired at Laquan McDonald in 2014, killing the 17-year old.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Van Dyke abandoned all attempts to appeal his conviction a year into his sentence in order to avoid enduring additional public controversy and media attention. The former officer is eligible for parole due to good behavior.
Rev. Marvin Hunter, McDonald’s uncle and the pastor of the Grace Memorial Baptist Church, told the tribune he received a notice about Van Dyke’s pending release Friday.
“I’m hoping he’s learned the errors of his ways. I have always asked for justice and not revenge,” Hunter said. “We got as much justice you could get with the players that were there at the time he was on trial. The system needs to be changed, it needs to be overhauled.”
Community activists held a rally Thursday and announced their desire to see federal prosecutors bring charges against Van Dyke and are calling on the Magnificent Mile Association to join the effort and pressure the judicial system. Activists are frustrated that Van Dyke is slated for release after serving less than half his sentence.
William Calloway, a criminal justice reform advocate told WGNTV, they don’t want violent or disruptive protests, but at the same time he feels the frustrations of Black people across the country who continue to die at the hands of police, simply because they’re Black
“We don’t want to see Cartier being vandalized or watch Burberry and Louis – that goes against what we believe in. That does hurt our cause. But at the same time, being Black, and being Black in America for 32 years, I understand, and I get it.”